Hunter Valley Vineyards and Restaurants: Fine Food and Wine Tour Ideas

Hunter Valley Vineyards Restaurants

No matter whether you’re a dedicated foodie or just love getting away from it all and enjoying time with good friends, sharing great food and plenty of fun along the way, Hunter Valley vineyards and restaurants offer something very special.

Boasting world-renowned vineyards, award-winning restaurants, a smorgasbord of magnificent local produce and a host of things to see and do, a visit to the Hunter Valley’s vineyards and restaurants makes for a perfect getaway or a memorable event.

Here are some great fine food and wine tours and ideas to get you salivating.

Award winning dining

With the amazing bounty available for the glass and plate, it’s no wonder that the Hunter Valley is a magnet for some of the world’s top chefs and creative culinary talent.

Few regions have such an incredible variety of cuisines and diversity of dining options on offer, all easily accessible in this compact region. From the finest in French to indulgent Italian to innovative modern Australian and Asian cuisines, the Hunter Valley is a showcase of Australia’s multi-cultural culinary influences.

Some top suggestions for dining: EXP. Restaurant; Muse Restaurant and Muse Kitchen; Restaurant Cuvee; Emerson’s Café & Restaurant; Wandin Estate Restaurant; The Mill Restaurant; Villa Du Pays; Café Enzo; Goldfish Bar & Restaurant; Oishii; Tatler Tapas Café; Yellow Billy Restaurant; Esca Restaurant; Amanda’s on the Edge; Blaxland’s Inn and Hunters Quarter.
You’ll find a quick guide to the region’s top restaurants and other culinary attractions here.

Experience the Hunter’s best in relaxed comfort

iHop’s Progressive Dinner Tours are a comfortable and relaxed way to enjoy some of the Hunter Valley’s top dining experiences. These popular nighttime tours are an ideal way to combine sampling some of the region’s world-class wines (and cheeses) with dinner at one the region’s award-winning restaurants – not to mention enjoying the gorgeous vineyard outlook.

What’s more, with these all-inclusive tours, you also have the option of a private, behind-the-scenes tour of a working family vineyard, and work up an appetite as you learn the art of perfect wine and cheese pairing with an expert.

Degustation Hunter Valley – A showcase of the region’s best

If you’re looking for a true taste of the Hunter Valley, degustation and tasting menus are offered by many of the top restaurants in the region.

The highly acclaimed 2 chef hatted Muse Restaurant located at the Hungerford Hill Winery in Pokolbin is fine dining at its best. With a focus on contemporary Australian cuisine, the degustation and tasting menus offered by Muse is a showcase of the best seasonal Hunter Valley produce on offer, with carefully selected wine pairings by their in-house Sommelier is a culinary treat.

If you are looking for an intimate dining experience EXP. Restaurant is located at Oakvale Wines. Focusing on contemporary Australian cuisine, the restaurant’s tasting and a la carte menus are driven by the seasons and the region’s finest local produce, matched with award winning Oakvale and Hunter Valley wines.

Another popular option is Esca Bimbadgen which showcases Bimbadgen wines by matching them with simple, elegant food in a stunning setting. A pioneer of fine dining in the Hunter Valley, Esca Bimbadgen exemplifies the unique nature of a winery restaurant. The spectacular entrance suspended above the winery is second only to the view from your table.

iHop’s Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours are a flexible, convenient and relaxing way of visiting the region’s best restaurants for that perfect leisurely lunch in the heart of wine country. You’ll find Muse Restaurant at Hop 3, EXP. Restaurant at Hop 9 on the Central Pokolbin Route and Esca Bimbadgen features at Hop 14 on both the Central Pokolbin and Lovedale & North Pokolbin Routes.

Wine and Dine ideas for that special occasion in the Hunter Valley

If you’re looking for that lasting memorable birthday party, corporate function or anniversary celebration, Hunter Valley vineyards and restaurants offer some fantastic options.

A Hunter Valley wine, tasting and dining tour can turn any occasion into a truly memorable evening out or weekend away. The eating, drinking and entertainment options are many and varied, and you can tailor the event to suit your group’s interests and tastes.

Even better, with iHop’s wine and dining tours, there’s no designated driver required, so no fuss and no worries with driving. You know you’re in good hands, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy! Tours run both day and night.
Some suggestions to visit: Sabor Dessert Bar (pure indulgence); High Tea at Gemelli Estate; Adina Olive Grove; Ironbark Hill Brewhouse (handcrafted beers); Lovedale Smokehouse (smoked meats, produce and more); Harrigan’s Irish Pub; Hunter Valley Cheese Factory; Binnorie Dairy (artisan cheeses); Potter’s Brewery; Hunter Valley Distillery; Hunter Valley Smelly’s Cheese Shop and Pokolbin Chocolate & Jam Company.

Getting to the Hunter Valley

When to visit: The restaurants and wineries mentioned are open all year round. Booking ahead is recommended. iHop tours run 6 days a week and the twilight and nights tours run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Other nights available by arrangement. Check here for specific dates and times.

Travel options:Drive north from Sydney via the M1 motorway or board the Sydney to Hunter Valley train at Sydney’s Central Station. Trains depart regularly throughout the day. You can also fly to Newcastle from Sydney and most other Australian capital cities.

Distance and times: The Hunter Valley is around 160 kilometers from Sydney, via the most direct route north on the M1 motorway. Driving typically takes two-and-a-half hours and around a 50-minute drive from Newcastle.

Staying in the Hunter Valley: There are many accommodation options from budget to boutique 5-star winery stays available via online booking sites and travel agents. We recommend staying in Cessnock, Pokolbin, Lovedale and Rothbury areas.